Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Back to basics

Hey folks. Well, I'm back home in Southsea and pleased to be here. It really helps with keeping on track health-wise when I'm in my normal routine.

Things have been going well with the 25 days of fitness challenge, with every challenge completed so far. Monday's was really tough - 25 jumping jacks, 25 push ups, 25 crunches and 25 squats, twice through. It was short, sharp and painful. And then Real Military Fitness class lastnight was BRUTAL!

We did some running, which I hate anyway, then a really tough 9 minute AMRAP (as many reps as possible) of 5 jump squats, a run, then 15 push ups. The next AMRAP was 5 minutes of 10 box jumps, a run, then 5 full body get ups on the shingle beach. Add in another 5 minute AMRAP focused on arms and we were well and truly beat.

I've also signed up to a mini walking challenge for a couple of weeks where I need to hit 13,000 steps a day. I'm nothing if not determined to keep the pounds at bay this December! It's just as well because my eating has been straying way off track and featuring far to many "treats" for them even to be considered a treat anymore. So, I've gone back to basics and decided every meal I'm in control of this festive season (ie. I make at home) needs to be healthy and as simple as possible.

Monday was a pre-made cous cous and goats cheese salad with harissa from Waitrose. It was lovely but a very small portion, which probably led to my Peanut Butter M&Ms binge later that day...

Back home Tuesday night we were back on form with a simple chicken and Chinese veggie stir fry after RMF. It felt so good to eat wholesome stuff! Apologies for the crazy colour!

This morning I fried up some frozen chargrilled veggies I had on standby from Waitrose and made a frittata... They're back! I just walked to Lidl to get some smoked salmon to go with tomorrow's breakfast.

Lunch was a very tasty Tesco's sweet potato and chilli soup plus some prawns we had going spare. As we only moved back home lastnight I ordered some soups for this week but will be making my own batches for lunch next week. I also snacked on a banana and a Nakd bar during the day.

And now I'm about to make sausages for dinner. Mmm, sausages...
How's your December so far? Staying healthy?

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Ready for advent-ure?

Happy 1 December! You find me today raring to go and ready to count down to Christmas the healthy way. The fabulous Monica at Run Eat Repeat has got me all fired up with her 25 days of fitness challenge. I've shared it with my friends and am ready to feel fit come 25 December rather than fit to drop.

I'll admit it's been a struggle to be healthy this week. With three nights out, I've been eating treats and unable to do my usual quota of exercise. That said, it has been a great week, so I don't regret it, but I feel ready to get back into a routine.

That started with a two hour walk after sixty minutes of Barre 3 yesterday. Here's the scene as I set out on my walk. Love kicking those leaves!

So how come I've been so busy this week? Well, on Tuesday we went to the recording of a Radio 4 Show with Jay Rayner called The Kitchen Cabinet. I've never been to a show recording before and I loved it! I signed up to the BBC audience email ages ago and when I saw that it was being recorded locally, I grabbed some free tickets. You could ask questions and I wrote one down in Andy's name which got selected! We were asking for winter lunch ideas as we are sick of salads. Yep, I'm even over mackerel salad. True story! They gave us some great tips, including cooking up a vat of risotto for the week to heat up. But our favourite was taking in some good quality ready made broth and quick cook ingredients like prawns and green beans. Heat the broth, drop the veggies and protein in and let them get cooked by the heat of the broth. We'll be giving it a go. Listen on Tuesday at 3pm for Andy's moment of fame.

Wednesday I was at an all day charity conference followed by an awards ceremony for work. Cue lots of food and little opportunity for walking, although we did take a quick turn at lunch. I was particularly inspired by Paula Craig MBE who went from running sub-three hour marathons to being hit by a car while out training for a triathlon and unable to walk. Within a year she was back to marathons and triathlons but without the use of her legs. She said it wasn't about trying to be superwoman, she just wanted her life back. And her life happened to be running marathons and taking part in triathlons. Amazing. 

Thursday we went to a gig. We were going straight from work so stopped at the local Talisman pub for dinner. They had a sharing menu for £20. A starter, two mains and a dessert. It was super yummy! To start we had lamb kebabs which were very tasty and tender:

For my main I had roasted peppers with goats cheese and new potatoes on the side, plus a few onion rings. I burnt my mouth in my haste to tuck in!

And for pud we shared an apple and blackberry crumble and custard. Necessary? No. Tasty, yes! I also had a small glass of red wine. I had a glass on Tuesday, too, plus a glass of Champagne and a small bit of wine on Wednesday. It was a boozy week, but it was all in moderate amounts.

The gig was great - it was a band called Public Service Broadcasting who we saw at the End of the Road Festival in September and really liked. They're great fun, a mix of electro and guitar music with a side of retro. Check them out. We were so tired we couldn't stay for the encore, though!
After that cray week, the weekend has been all about this:

Fire on, iPad fired up and a good book on hand. I just finished When God was a Rabbit, which I really enjoyed. Not sure what I'll read next yet... maybe something wintry and festive, like Dickens or Bronte...
Last night we had a treat for dinner - Thai takeout from Lemongrass in Chichester. I had my favourite, extra hot chilli and basil squid with a side of stir fried veggies. Light and so fresh and zingy.

This morning I started my 25 days of fitness challenge by holding a plank for 1 minute 14 seconds. Not bad, but I know I can do better. Next week I need to add ten seconds on. I'm ready!

We just got back from starting our Christmas shopping in town, where I tried a Starbucks eggnog latte.Verdict? Meh. Not fussed. Now it's time to light the fire and relax before tucking in to the shoulder of lamb I have in the oven later with my cousin and her husband. Happy December indeed.